review
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POSTED 2/5/12


BIRDS OF STEEL

Konami
PS3 (also on Xbox 360)

It’s a war that will rage eternally within the hearts and minds of so many... the fight for buns of steel. Whassat? Heh, oops...

So, no exercise, and we’re not talking Dr Evil’s latest plotty-plot involving metallic airborne creatures. It’s a plane thing, and we got the war bit right at least – WWII.

From the IL-2 Sturmovik people, Birds of Steel delivers flight simulation to consoles, with quite a Gran Turismo aesthetic. We’re not talking letting the Stig loose in all manner of warbirds, however all manner of warbirds are unlockable. Seriously, when there are five Aussie-built planes you just know that it’s thorough.

The word ‘simulation’ usually means ‘tricky’, unless there’s a ‘t’ in it, when a frenzied rub will pretty much get you by. The beauty here is a simplified, arcade-ish mode – well, a relatively simplified one, as there are still more buttons to memorise than a haberdasher’s stocktake - allowing mortal types to get flytastic. Training’s worth perseverance – taking off, shooting runs, landing on land and on sea (shouldn’t that be ‘seaing’?), and giving a good grounding in getting about before going all real deal. If you’re more experienced then you can wrestle with more advanced control modes. Have fun.

There’s not a hell of a lot of coherent story mode, so anybody expecting The Compleat WWII from point A to point Z might be pouty. There are, however, oodles of missions covering most every scrap of that outbreak of worldwide hostilities, including the UK, USA, Germany, the USSR and Japan (with more Zeroes than Adele's royalty cheques), and more oodles of ways to tackle them, from single missions to squadron participation, plus online versus, tournament and co-op.

Meanwhile, authenticity bulges from every orifice, including original footage and spiffy period music.

Sorry buns, we’ve got birds to work. Tally-ho!

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.